Case Removal

Why is google/yahoo showing court judgments from Indian Kanoon?

Indian Kanoon has been useful for people seeking information on Indian Law. Over time Indian Kanoon's reputation on general search engines like google and yahoo has improved and as a result, pages from Indian Kanoon have started surfacing in the top few of search results.

Court Cases Are Public Records

Court judgments are public records. If a case is heard by a court of India, no one can argue that the opinion should not be published and viewable by all, unless the court itself expressly says it cannot be published or a law says it cannot be.

The decisions of the Supreme Court are the law of the land, and all citizens can read their decisions. Not just the Supreme Court, courts today are publishing their judgments and orders on the Internet. If you search for a current court case from judis.nic.in or a high court website or the district court websites, you will find details of that case directly from the courts.

Who gave permission to Indian Kanoon to publish court cases?

As mentioned above, Court cases are public records and we do not need anyone's permission to publish court cases. The Section 52(1)(q)(iv) of the Copyright Act states that publication of court judgments does not constitute an infringement of Copyright.

But my privacy is violated by publication of court judgment

In R. Rajagopal vs State Of T.N on 7 October, 1994 where the Supreme Court defined the scope of the Right to Privacy, it held that publication of court records will not constitute any violation of the right to privacy. It held:

The rule aforesaid is subject to the exception, that any publication concerning the aforesaid aspects becomes unobjectionable if such publication is based upon public records including court records. This is for the reason that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right to privacy no longer subsists and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by press and media among others. We are, however, of the opinion that in the interests of decency [Article 19(2) an exception must be carved out to this rule, viz., a female who is the victim of a sexual assault, kidnap, abduction or a like offence should not further be subjected to the indignity of her name and the incident being publicised in press/media

Can you remove or modify my court case?

We will not remove or modify any public documents without an order of the court competent to do so. Remember, there are many, many copies of these court decisions in existence, and Indian Kanoon has just one of those many copies. If you want information deleted, your only recourse is with the courts that issued the judgment or order. You should contact the registry of the court directly or engage a lawyer to do so for you.

Can you at least block Google/Yahoo from accessing my judgment?

Yes but only for cases of divorce, maintenance, child adoption and child custody (or cases where the registry of the court has failed to mask information as required under Section 228-A of the Indian Penal Code). The cases from the Supreme Court will not be blocked. Send an email to webmaster@indiankanoon.com with the link/URL of the case on Indian Kanoon. The requests are examined in a batch once 2-3 weeks and will take time. Also note that only "/doc/" and "/docfragment/" will be blocked from the search engines. If Google/Yahoo still show the "/search/" link that may contain your case, nothing can be done as search queries to the website are not specific to your case.